We don't really need an excuse to eat pasta before 10 a.m., but now, with Atlanta-based chef Hugh Acheson's recipe, we have even more reason. One of Acheson's favorite dishes to make his kids in the morning is a riff on carbonara (lucky kids): Tender spaghetti is tossed in rendered bacon (in lieu of pancetta) before being dressed in a sauce of egg and cheese.
Like with any carbonara, timing is everything. As soon as the pasta is cooked, drain it and transfer it to the pan. You want the pasta still steaming hot so when the eggs and cheese get mixed in, a creamy sauce forms, coating the noodles.
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Recipe adapted from Hugh Acheson, Empire State South, Atlanta, GA
Yield: 4 to 6 servings
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 25 minutes
Total Time: 40 minutes
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
2 tablespoons olive oil
½ pound slab bacon, ⅓-inch dice
1 pound spaghetti
1 medium onion, finely chopped
¾ cup finely grated Parmesan cheese, plus more for garnish
Chopped parsley, for garnish
Torn basil, for garnish
1. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Meanwhile, in a large skillet, heat the olive oil over medium heat. Add the bacon and fry until golden brown and rendered, 6 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, transfer to a bowl and reserve.
2. Once the pot of water is boiling, add the pasta and cook, stirring occasionally, until al dente, 9 to 10 minutes. Drain the pasta, reserving ½ cup of cooking liquid.
3. Add the onions to the pan with the rendered bacon fat and sauté until they begin to brown at the edges, 8 minutes. Add the reserved bacon and pasta water, along with the drained spaghetti, and toss to coat.
4. In a separate bowl whisk together the Parmesan, eggs and freshly ground black pepper. Remove the pasta from the heat and stir in the egg mixture, tossing until the sauce has thickened and emulsified. Season with salt.
5. Divide between plates and garnish with grated Parmesan, chopped parsley and torn basil, then serve.